Highlights: Watching the horrible monster dumpers
Lowlights: Not being able to launch
Loc: Lago do Padre
Acc: Rafael and Catarina’s apartment
I was still amazing tired all afternoon when I arrived at the beach, on reading I fell asleep around 5pm and kept on doing so all night, only interrupted by a few pees and brushing teeth. It had a nice breeze, different to the last camp. But the heat is still draining my energy. How different you can perform any sports in this climate when you know you can rest at night in an air conditioned room with a proper shower, the regular hot beach camp makes this section of the trip really tougher. Since Ecuador, and probably until Sao Paulo it will be like this.
At 4am, I woke by heavy sheet lightning, every 2-3 seconds the sky was bright. And who knows how long this night it was going like this already? I also listened to the breaking waves, and just the roaring sound of the breakers told me I may be trapped here. I peeped out of the tent, and despite camping on the far end of the wide beach I could see in the bright sheet lightning the waves splashing high over the first steep ledge, washing on top of the second. I was camping on the third and last.
It gave me a goodnight mare from 4-5am about me and my gear being washed aways by heavy seas, when I woke again by the roaring sound of real thunder, with added real lightning, gusty winds and heavy rain. It felt like the last doomsday, sitting in my tiny tent exposed on the beach.Is it also working like a Faraday cage like a car? I am always really hoping so in such situations, laid on top of my air mattress. The gusty wind stopped soon, but heavy rain, roaring thunder and bright lightings cutting the sky kept on going for half an hour. The sheet lightning kept on going until day light under a dark sky all morning. What a force of nature…
I surely did not make any effort to pack at 5 am as usual, but got out of my tent at 6.15 am in first light to have a real check on the breakers, if there may not be a lull in between where I may be able to launch? The sea behind the breaker zone looked all right, and the wide entrance into the bay of Rio de Janeiro should be no problem. Yesterday were 60-70 cm swell height fore casted, and landing was basically ok, today it were up to 1,80 m! Paddling with the also fore casted low wind would be no problem at all, but the shore break developed to something I have barely seen so far on my trips. And it will be Sunday even up to 2,30 m…
Real heavy monster breakers of truly maximum 4 meters were crashing hollow on the steep beach, creating a roaring sound, high wash up and spray all over the beach. The “lulls” were still fat dumpers, and the next monster things were already rolling in.No chance to even come close to get safely afloat with my kayak, not even if someone would have pushed me in on a good timing. Getting caught and trashed by those breakers would break my bones and kayak. The wash on the first ledge only was maybe 50 m, the breakers piling up in the water were probably 100 m out. No chance. Not any of my many pictures I took could show the real dimensions correctly due to the lack of a comparison model inside the breakers. The only thing comparing to this I had seen in New Zealand south in the corner of Birdlings Flat, and there it was crashing on gravel, rather shaking the earth under your feet instead of washing up so high on sand like here.
Ok, what were the options? I could stay here and wait until earliest Tuesday, better Wednesday where the sea would be back to around a meter and I should be able to launch. Or asking my friends in Rio to pick me up and spend those waiting days reasonable in a nice city…fortunately the latter was working. No regrets I didn’t drive out yesterday already, this roaring nature theater was well worth to watch.
Flavia came at 2 pm with her friend Carla to pick me up! Many thanks! I was asking her to quickly have a look at the small river mouth entry at Ponta Negra, 7,5 km back where I was just passing that upside down large wreck yesterday. I was curious how the possible launch from there would look like in those conditions…but the wreck said it all. As the breakers were rolling in a tad bit from the west, the river exit was fully unprotected and even on the there existing breaker lulls the distance from calmish water inside the river to no potential breakers offshore was too long to go out safely.
Flavia brought my kayak to the Yacht Club in Rio de Janeiro, where they will be storing it safely after I gave it a good wash. I was invited to stay in the small apartment of Rafael and Catarina in the old beautiful and protected city center of Urca, and they left it all for myself! Thank you so much!
I took Flavia for dinner to a fancy Churrasceria with view on to the harbor and famous Sugar Loaf of Rio de Janeiro. This was just what the doctor ordered, freshly showered, in my one and only dress, hungry for civilization and everything but pasta, rice and oats. The meat and buffet was delicious, Flavia with her perfect English and free thinking nature a lovely dinner partner. Thanks for driving me back from the beach and organizing my stay in beautiful Rio de Janeiro! I will be able to *paddle* into the bay in a few days…